Some 3DTV Reading

Some 3DTV Reading

Although aimed at a UK audience, you engineers might want to read two articles that I ran across. The first is a report done by ZetaCast for UK regulator, Ofcom, to provide an independent report evaluating the likely bandwidth requirements for future TV services.

The second is an article from TeamCast in the European Edition of the September 2010 edition of SatMagazine. The objective of this article is to provide some key elements that explain how 3DTV can be conveyed over an 8MHz DVB-T2 (QAM) channel, however there are some interesting calculations about the increase of bit-rates for various 3D encoding schemes.

ABC Buyouts Hit NABET

ABC Buyouts Hit NABET

This weeks NABET buyouts affect employees of ABC Daytime as well as ABC News. With last January’s move of All My Children to Disney’s Prospect Studios, this spring’s retrenchment of ABC News, the long ago death of ABC Sports and the continuing trend of automating control rooms – it looks like hard times have come for many union brothers and sisters.

FLO’s Demise A Lesson for OMVC ?

FLO’s Demise A Lesson for OMVC ?

What lessons does the impending shutdown of FLO TV have for the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC)? Probably just one: It is not good to be way out front with a new technology or be too late out of the gate.

Our friends at the ATSC wanted the best engineering solution rather than the most flexible. (Like CODFM.) It was only when the bean counters made the engineers realize that over-the-air television was a non-issue for 90% of the country, that thought was given to the potential market of non-stationary TV devices. (A revenue loss of 10% per year will make people rethink their business model.)

So will Mobile DTV take off or has the past 15 months of digital transmission soured the potential mobile audience?

(Thanks to Engadget.)

From 3D Summit: “Scr-w You!”

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From 3D Summit: “Scr-w You!”

UPDATE: It looks like I may be wrong about this. Please read the comment.

An interesting dispatch from Variety‘s annual 3D Summit (courtesy of the AP): If you were counting on viewing this year’s 3D Hollywood movie titles on your brand new 3D set any time soon, you may be disappointed. Because of studio / 3DTV manufacturer bundling deals, only three features and three documentaries will be on the shelves and playable on any 3D Blu-ray /3DTV combo.

For example, a Sony 3-DTV buyer won’t be able to watch DreamWorks “How To Train Your Dragon” because that movie will be tied to the purchase of a set from Samsung Electronics Co. And Disney said that its 3-D movies “Alice in Wonderland” and “Bolt” would be available exclusively to people who buy certain sets from Sony Corp.

I’d like to how they are doing this… (HDMI handshaking perhaps?) In any case, I hope that these exclusivity deals end soon, or there will be lots of 3D Blu-ray returns after Christmas!

Trouble in 3D City?

Trouble in 3D City?

Trouble, oh we got trouble,
Right here in 3D City!
With a capital “T”, that rhymes with “D”
And that stands for Drool.

According to a press release from The Nielsen Company and a blog post in the New York Times – people who have actually viewed 3D TV say they are less likely to buy a new 3D set than people that have heard about 3D TV but have not actually seen it. In Sam Grobart’s NY Times post, he suggests that the deal breaker could just be having to wear those 3D glasses.

(Click on the white space in the graphic to see it full size.)

(With apologies to Meredith Willson.)

IFA: 3D Adds Depth to TV Landscape

IFA: 3D Adds Depth to TV Landscape

Chris Nuttall of the Financial Times filed this report from the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin. Nuttall said that the rumored Toshiba eyeglass-less 3D TV was not demoed. The report also had a list of what Nuttall considered to be the “best gadgets” at the show, including Apple’s “Apple TV”.

Graeme Wearden of The Guardian also highlighted Panasonic and Sony’s 3D announcements including a 3D projector by Sony. Panasonic announced a 3D IPTV service that would allow stereo movies to be downloaded to it’s TVs and Blu-ray players.

And for a more pessimistic view, see Harry McCracken’s blog post.

Audio Follows Video, Right?

Audio Follows Video, Right?

fox_5I very seldom watch the 10 PM news on the Fox New York O&O (WYNY – aka “Fox 5 NY”), but tonight my wife and I were watching “Glee” and I hung around for the newscast. At the end of one of the live field reports on Hurricane Earl (at the Jersey shore, in the dark, in front of a snow fence), up comes the two-box and away goes the field reporter audio (cutting off the sig-out and eliminating any chance of 2-way banter.) I guess that’s what happens when you use an automated system instead of an audio person…

(I’m not even going to comment on how instead of doing a live shot where you can’t see anything – the truck operator would have been better used as an audio board operator in the studio. It’s the news, stupid and the reporter HAS to be LIVE on the scene even though there is NOTHING TO SEE.)

3D Added to US Open Coverage

3D Added to US Open Coverage

n3d_150According to this release from the USTA, CBS will be providing 3-D coverage of some Center Court matches from the Arthur Ashe Stadium during the US Open. As of now, some matches will be available on DirecTV’s n3D channel with the possibility of carriage on some cable systems.

And according to Broadcasting & Cable, CBS Sports Exec VP of Operations and Engineering Ken Aagaard says that the network plans to produce the middle weekend – Saturday, 9/4 through Labor Day, 9/6 – and the final weekend – Saturday, 9/11 & Sunday, 9/12 in 3-D. According to B&C, CBS has secured a sponsorship deal with Panasonic, who also underwrites DirecTV’s n3D channel.

UPDATE (9/2): It looks like 3-D coverage will be exclusive to DirecTV.

HDMI Consortium Pubs Part of Spec

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HDMI Consortium Pubs Part of Spec

hdmi_logo_41_150HDMI Licensing, the agent that represents the HDMI founding members (Hitachi, Panasonic, Philips, Silicon Image, Sony,  Technicolor, and Toshiba) is making available the part of the HDMI® 4.1 specification that deals with 3D display formats.

This will provide production companies, networks and transmission companies with the information they need to determine if their 3D programming will display on HDMI® equipped sets.

OTA B’casters Won’t Waive Big Sticks

OTA B’casters Won’t Waive Big Sticks

towerIn comments filed with the FCC’s Broadband Task Force on January 27th, the NAB and the Association For Maximum Service Television (MSTV) said that a proposal from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the wireless trade industry association (CTIA) to free-up additional spectrum was unacceptable.

The proposal calls for over-the-air broadcasters to transition from today’s high power single transmitter DTV infrastructure to one based on multiple DTS single-frequency network transmitters. The NAB and  MSTV filing said the plan would create loss of service to viewers resulting from increased coverage gaps and interference.

READ THE ENTIRE BROADCAST ENGINEERING ARTICLE HERE